Chicago Cubs: Changes coming to the collective bargaining agreement

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs didn’t lose a draft pick when they signed Jon Lester.

Adding that a player can only receive qualifying offer once in his career was a nice adjustment to the last CBA. However, that assumes that acquiring teams are going to be penalized draft picks for signing free agents who declined qualifying offers. If in a future version of the CBA acquiring teams aren’t going to lose a draft pick, then players won’t care how many qualifying offers they receive in their career.

Players’ value won’t be hurt by qualifying offers if the team that signs them doesn’t have to worry about losing draft picks. It will actually give some players an additional contract possibility to consider that occasionally will be a good fit.

It also seems strange that some players can be tied to draft pick compensation while other players can’t if they were traded during the season before they reached free agency. When the Cubs signed Jon Lester to a free agent contract they didn’t have to worry about losing a draft pick because he was traded from the Red Sox to the Athletics just before he became a free agent.

I don’t think draft pick compensation has made much of an impact on players at the top of the market. When the Cubs signed Heyward, I don’t think the draft pick compensation factored into the decision at all.

Theo Epstein is one of the reasons players can’t be tied to draft pick compensation if they are traded in their final season before free agency. In 2004 the Epstein led Red Sox traded for shortstop Orlando Cabrera in midseason. Cabrera then left as a free agent. The Red Sox signed Edgar Rentería, a very similar player, to replace Cabrera. Because Epstein and the Red Sox signed Rentería instead of resigning Cabrera they earned an additional draft pick. That draft pick ended up being Jacoby Ellsbury. Epstein had figure out how to game the system.